My $22 adventure

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by brandenburg, May 6, 2009.

  1. brandenburg

    brandenburg New Egg

    May 5, 2009
    Let me say before we go on that I did not build this house it was built in the 1950's the size is a 12x12, after reading all of your posts I thought it would be fun to look at. I am trying to soak up all the good advise and experience here about raising chickens, since I have never done this before if you happen to see something I should know feel free to speak up (I do have some concerns!) I purchased my chicks at a local hatchery about 6 weeks ago. I just put them out in the house 2 weeks ago they seem to have adjusted well. This week I introduced the Roo's to the house and they seem to be quite happy. The girls on the other hand are scared to death of the Roo's(me and the Red Roo are going to have problems I think, he charges you if you try to catch one of the girls or make them holler in any way)

    Total $22 so far
    $15 for 6 RR hens
    $7 chick feed

    All the T posts, wire and a gate was donated by my aunt a old chicken pen (not fun digging out those T posts to reuse) The Roo's were donated almost like hot potatoes their both about 14 months old (funny thing happened - when me and the wife decided to try chickens I think we might have told one person of our plan .. within the week 4 people had called the house wanting to know if I wanted one or 2 roosters!)
    anyhow off we go


    This is the house, not too fancy but spacious. Here is the front of the house. I fenced off a 6x12 section so I could control getting in and out of the house without the chickens getting loose. The house faces the south and the window in front I tie up or down depending on the weather. The openings in the front and back are a concern of mine I think its going to be too drafty in the winter months

    This is the back of the house and where I intend to let the chickens run it is also a 12x12 area that I covered on top with chicken wire (this was a lot of separate pieces different sizes that I just wired together) I built my pen before reading here and failed to consider critter proofing the run and it is now my priority however I am out of wire at the moment..

    Instructor : Murphy
    Syllabus : Law

    Here is a better pic of their access to the run


    OK here is the nesting boxes and if you notice on the left of the picture the thermometer on the wall it was made in the 50's and was probably put there when first built.
    I worried I had 6 boxes and 8 chickens but seems that all the girls like to sleep together in 1-2 boxes and the Roo's could care less about the boxes at all. The boxes are mounted chest high to me (4 ft maybe ) and I wonder if its too high for the girls (their 10 weeks old)


    This is a pic just inside the door, what was used for perching was wood flooring planks and their support is a old fence post. They are at the same level as the boxes and take up the back half of the house. There is a dirt floor which I covered with about 2 inches of hay (ok I really get the creeps about no ability to see a snake if one were to be in there me chicken [​IMG] ) I found in the chicken house 2 feeders and a (what looks like a rubber oil pan) waterer, for the chickens it was like moving to a full furnished condo! (especially the roo's they were kept together in a small tractor pen unable to move too much)


    here is how the girls get up there it needs some serious improvement I even considered not having it at all do they really need it ?

    finally here is my new sublet tenet's girls first (of course)

    Im looking forward to all your questions and yes advise

  2. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    Nice refurbish.

    Unfortunately, it looks like you have room for a lot more chickens.

    Too bad.
  3. crackertrail

    crackertrail Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2009
    Hardee County
    Bet that grass doesn't last long!
  4. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    I like it! Very spacious and looks sturdy. My suggestion is to add a window that will allow light in even in bad weather (when it's closed). When you have all of the openings closed in poor weather, it might get awfully dark in there. Otherwise, I am really jealous my property didn't come with one like yours!
  5. Run-A-Muck Ranch

    Run-A-Muck Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very nice...Agree with the other....You need more birds to fill it up, and a window that lets light in would be great....I am sure your birds are going to LOVE there spacious living quarters though...

    You need more
  6. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Very nice, there isnt much other than another window and replacing the wire on the botton air vents, ( I dont like chicken wire too easily chewed or broken) 1/4 by 1/2 wire will take care of most preditors.
    Oh I would exchange that ladder for something better ( but thats a me thing)
    I can see why your girls are afraid of the roosters , lol the roos are twice their size.

    very nice set up. chickens couldnt ask for nicer digs
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    First, [​IMG] from MN

    That is a nice, old and, I'm sure, really sturdy outbuilding you have there. I am jealous of all that old wood. Today's wood just isn't the same....

    I'd agree with the other posts - it needs a window. I'd do as many as I could afford so that it has good light inside. I don't know where you live, but if you get winter, there could be days that the chickens just want to stay inside. But I'm guessing that when it's closed up, it's pretty dark right now.

    It also needs ventilation. I know that it gets plenty of fresh air when the doors are open, but what if they're closed up? No air flow. Put it up high, secure it with hardware wire, and if you get weather, give it flaps so you can close it up if you need to.

    I'd also remove your window/chicken door flaps and replace them with wooden doors that are stable and lockable. What you have right now doesn't look at all predator proof and since your run isn't enclosed, critters can just come on in and start working on getting those doors open. Also, that galvanized looks like it could cause a nasty cut if you aren't careful. The framing is all there, just remove the existing flap, build a door, put it on a hinge and put a latch on it so that it can be locked. Put hardware wire in the inside of your window so that the exterior flap can be operated.

    I'd put a real latch, maybe even two (high and low), on that door to keep critters from prying it open.

    I would be afraid of snakes, too. Maybe consider a solar powered light to illuminate the interior when you're inside?

    If it's possible, consider lowering your nest boxes. Chickens like to sleep in the highest possible spot, and if your nest box is it, then guess who's going to get poo on their eggs.... This certainly isn't life or death.

    Congratulations and welcome! I sure wish I could have inherited a nice building like that to start from! Have fun and enjoy the process!
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  8. tryingtohaveitall

    tryingtohaveitall Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Ohio
    Lucky you to inherit such a great place for your chicks! [​IMG] Enjoy!
  9. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Great building you have!! You are very blessed !! And so are your chickens who BTW are beautiful!!
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I was thinking mostly the same things Citychook was thinking, including, what a marvelous old building to have!

    Even if you choose not to change those metal doors over the openings, you are going to want hardware cloth over them so you can open them and still keep critters out. If you are in a warmer climate, you may not even need doors over them, at least on the east. (Helps if you put a general location below your screen name.)

    Here is a wonderful resource on coop ventilation:

    I have a metal coop and found I had to deal with major condensation problems on the inside in cold weather.

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